As pro-life advances continue in state legislatures and courts, a life movement of a different kind is having an impact on the abortion industry. New research shows that an increasing number of obstetricians and gynecologists are unwilling to perform abortions.

In the September 2011 issue of the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, a survey of 1,144 practicing OB/GYN’s found that 97 percent of the doctors encountered patients seeking an abortion.  Only 14 percent of those doctors performed the abortion in those circumstances. While the study did not survey the percent of those doctors who provided referrals for abortions, the numbers are still telling – the vast majority of doctors want nothing to do with abortion.

In our state, we can see evidence of this trend among physicians. Two weeks ago, the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the Abortion Consent Act passed in 2009. One of the women’s health protections in this new law mandates that only licensed doctors are permitted to perform abortions. Following the Court’s decision, Planned Parenthood of Arizona promptly announced that they would cease offering abortions at clinics in Flagstaff, Yuma, and Prescott.

According to the Arizona Board of Medicine’s online registry, there are currently 104 licensed physicians in Yuma County, 124 in Coconino County, and 144 in Yavapai County, the vast majority residing in Yuma, Flagstaff, and Prescott, respectively. The numbers make clear that it’s not that there aren’t doctors in these areas – it’s that doctors do not want to participate in what Planned Parenthood is doing. 

Doctors spend years training to protect life and aid patients in making the best health decisions.  Most ob/gyn doctors, in particular, got into the business to bring lives into the world, not end them.

Physicians who remain faithful to the Hippocratic Oath and refuse to participate in a business that takes the lives of preborn children and harms women are a vital part of the life movement.   

An abstract of the new report on OB/GYN’s in Obstetrics & Gynecology can be found here: http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2011/09000/Abortion_Provision_Among_Practicing.16.aspx

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